The temperatures are cooling down and fall has finally arrived in North Georgia! With the amount of rain we’ve had this year, we believe this fall is going to be a brilliant one! All of us at Nathan Fitts & Team are ready to get out our cute boots, hoodies & enjoy the falling leaves and cooler temps. Because this is one of our favorite seasons, we thought we’d put a list together of the top 20 places to get your leaf peeping on this fall.
1. The Southern Highroads Trail – Take a ride along The Southern Highroads trail and enjoy shopping, dining, entertainment and outdoor activities in 13 counties and 4 states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, & Tennessee. You can choose to do the whole route or break it up into sections.
2. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail – Put on your hiking boots and take a day hike, section hike or thru hike on the 2,146+ mile Appalachian Trail. Both fauna and flora are abundant along this famed route. The route begins at Springer Mountain and travels through 74 miles in North Georgia.
3. The Benton MacKaye Trail – Aiken to the famous Appalachian Trail, the Benton MacKaye Trail is a 300 mile footpath beginning at Springer Mountain and ending in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. The trail passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina offering the most sublime connection with nature.
4. Amicalola Falls State Park – Adventure is Amicalola’s middle name. Enjoy ziplining, archery, hiking, and of course the most magnificent waterfall in Georgia! With over 829 acres to explore, there is no better place to enjoy the fall season.
5. Vogel State Park – A great location for family fun, Vogel State park features both easy and challenging hiking trails for you to enjoy the brilliant fall colors. Take a stroll around Lake Trahlyta and down to Trahlyta Falls, explore the new Vogel to Reece Farm Connector Trail, or challenge yourself with the 4-mile Bear Hair Gap loop or even more difficult 13-mile Coosa Backcountry Trail.
6. Fort Mountain State Park – Originally home to Cherokee Indians, Fort Mountain State Park is a delight for hikers and history buffs. Take a scenic drive along Highway 52 and enjoy the quiet beauty of the Cohutta Wilderness.
7. Brasstown Bald – The highest peak in Georgia, Brasstown Bald, rises 4,784 feet above sea level. You can choose to hike a one mile fairly steep route or take a shuttle bus to the observation deck. At the top you can see 4 states from the top and have a spectacular 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
8. Lake Winfield Scott – A hidden gem in the mountains, Lake Winfield Scott offers a stunning display of fall color along the banks of a small beautiful lake. Campsites and non-motorized boat rentals are available.
9. The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway is a 40+ mile nationally designated Scenic Byway. The road makes a loop through three counties in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest.
10. Ocoee Scenic Byway – Designated as the first National Forest Byway in the nation, The Ocoee Scenic Byway winds through the Cherokee National Forest. Climb to the top of Chillhowee Mountain, drop down into the Ocoee River Gorge and enjoy all the beauty of the Tennessee Valley.
11. Georgia Mountain Parkway – The Georgia Mountain Parkway begins in Jasper Georgia on Hwy 515 and travels through all of your favorite mountain towns – Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Blairsville, & Hiawassee. Enjoy beautiful mountain views, wildflowers, seasonal festival along with shopping and dining opportunities along the way.
12. Blue Ridge Mountain Railway – Ride in comfort and enjoy the beautiful fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Mountain Railway. Departing in downtown Blue Ridge, the train ride travels up to the twin cities of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee.
13. Blanche Manor Horseback Riding – Enjoy the mountains by horseback. With over 40 miles of trails to explore, beautiful guided horseback riding is available for all ages and abilities. What a great way to see the changing leaves!
14. Hay Ride at Mercier’s Orchards – When you think of fall, apples and hayrides probably come to mind. Get the best of the fall season at Mercier Orchards. With over 300 acres and 100,000 apple trees, there is no shortage of fall fun at this family destination. Famous for their fried pies, you can also sample their apple bread, hard cider, and various other sundries.
15. Bear Claw Vineyards – There is no better way to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the season than with a glass of your favorite red or white wine. Take a walk through the vineyards, rent their tree house or enjoy some great music at one of their many concerts.
16. Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge – Zip along 165 acres of pastures and a creek in the North Georgia Mountains. Where else can you enjoy the changing leaves from 75’ in the air? If you are feeling more adventurous you can add on a whitewater rafting trip as well!
17. Waterfalls – If you love the sound of rushing water and the beauty of nature, plan a trip to one or many of the area waterfalls. Most approaches are short, but provide ample foliage viewing opportunities. Other trails are a little more moderate, but the end reward is worth it!
18. Toccoa River – Blue Ridge is the Trout Capitol of Georgia. Just minutes from downtown you can access the Toccoa river and enjoy the fishing, picnicking, and leaf peeping this area has to offer.
19. Festivals – Fall Festivals are abundant in North Georgia this time of year. The Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay, the Blairsville Sorghum Festival, and the Georgia Mountain Fair are all great places to enjoy the tastes and sights of the season.
Photo Courtesy of Justin Rush